I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the past 2 years training for races. Although I didn’t run any races in 2010, I started the couch to 5k program and trained for the January, 2011 half marathon. My first act after finishing that race was to register for another race. I then signed up for the Disney Full Marathon and spent at least half of 2011 training for that event.
One issue I’ve had throughout my training is figuring out how to properly fuel for my runs. It became clear to me after several months of running, that being I sufficiently fueled after a long run made me very, very cranky for the rest of the day. I discovered that chocolate milk post-run and then carbs for lunch helped this quite a bit. I have a system during my long runs that’s come through trial and error. I take Endurolytes every 30 minutes (essentially buffered salt tabs – I tend to sweat salt) and some fuel – either GU or shot bloks or sports beans – every 45 minutes. I finished with a glass of chocolate milk. Depending on the run that may not be enough to keep me from feeling cranky and depleted later in the day.
One thing I’ve noticed during marathon training is that my appetite has increased substantially. I feel hungry often. And if I don’t eat enough, I feel light-headed and crappy. Classic hypoglycemia stuff. So I tend to try to snack during the day – at least as much as a surgeon’s schedule allows. I read that many people fail to lose weight during marathon training but my problem went well beyond not losing weight. I was fine with my starting weight! But now I’ve gained 10 lbs in the past year. And I’m not having an easy time getting rid of it! (Damn you age 40!!!)
Many people have tried to tell me that my weight gain is merely my body replacing fat with muscle. I wish! If that were true my pants should still fit. But, alas, they are getting tight. And I’ve been asked a few times in the last several months if i was expecting! I think I’ve really just gained 10 lbs that I now need to lose. And losing it isn’t so easy.
I’m trying to do a better job of keeping healthy snacks handy and eating smarter. But I’m still training and still hungry. And I still feel light-headed when I don’t eat often enough. After my 5 mile run on Saturday I was cranky all afternoon, despite what should have been adequate fueling.
Anyone else gain weight with training? Maybe it’s just the dreaded 4-0!

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